Monday, September 3, 2012

I Really Live and Work in Kenya

A month.  I have been here for a month.  As I enter September and think back over August I am astounded by everything that has happened.  My comfort level here in Kenya is growing daily and that became apparent to me this past week.  I spent a lot of time this past week in the office working.  Sitting at a computer for a long time during the day is a challenge for me, but I felt my time in front of a screen this week was exceptionally productive.  Then I got a break on Wednesday because there was a group from  the US here.  Natalie and I got to take them to visit Nyumba Ya Tumaini and Kware Christian Women Works of Charity so they could learn more about the work we do.  It was a crazy realization for me that I really live here and for the first time I am not a tourist and being led around the country.  At the same time it was really nice to be in a group that I could really relate to for a day.
Boys at Tumaini eating breakfast before they played games with the group for the US.

Team from the US learning from the young adults at Tumaini about what BTCKE is doing.
Friday I went to a football match at Nyumba Ya Tumaini.  And by football I mean soccer.  The young adult team organized the match between a youth group from the church that some of the boys attend and the team from the home.  The youth group also came with a music system for a dance party post match.  They brought donations of food and clothing as well.  Unfortunately it rained that night, but that did not stop the fun.  In fact everyone crammed into the space where the boys usually cook and we played games and danced for hours.  Funny thing- there is no electrical outlet in the space, which you may think would have been an issue, but not in Kenya.  You see there is wiring for a light, so I watched as one of the boys climbed up on a table and took apart the light fixture and strip the wires while another boy got the surge protector and removed the plug to expose the wires and then attach the wires from the surge protector directly to the fixture.  Then with the flip of the switch that was intended to turn on a light, music started!  It was incredible.  My camera decided that it was not going to work onFriday so I do not have it documented, but it was a great day.  I tried to wait out the rain, but it never slowed and by the time I had waited it was dark and two of the kind young adults walked me home in the mud.  I owe them big time.

Friday night was just the start of a fantastic weekend.  Saturday was the first of a series of talks that are a part of the Tatua Kenya Campaign we are running.  The campaign is working to expose the power of "ground-up" solutions here in Kenya.  I could do a whole blog on that itself, but I wont.  I will just encourage you to look at the Be The Change- Kenya blog for more information.  We filled our space to capacity for the event and two of the attendees were my good friends Mike and Leslie.  Mike and Leslie are missionaries with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) and I met them while I was in Toronto for orientation.  They arrived exactly 2 weeks after me and I anxiously anticipated their coming.  After the event they brought me back to their apartment and we spent time catching up over Tuskers.  Then we headed to dinner and I stayed with them that night.  The next morning I went to their church where Mike is now the pastor.  The English service was fabulous and so was the Swahili service, but the sermon was a bit long for me since I did not know what was being said, but people were laughing so I am guessing it was funny.  After church they brought me home and I showed them Rongai.  It was really great to reunite with them and I am looking forward to spending more time with them over my year here.
Me with Mike and Leslie after church.
Today I went by Dream Children's Home.  I had a great meeting with Rachel, the director, and I got to check up on sweet Ryan.  He is the little 10 year old boy with stomach cancer.  He seemed to be doing pretty well today.  He was a little tired, but he sat with me and drew pictures for awhile.  He goes to the hospital on Wednesday for his next treatment so please continue praying for his recovery and safe travels for him.
Me and Ryan at Dreams.

Ryan drew me a giraffe.
I hope you all had a great week as well.  I know college football (not soccer) started this past weekend and my Georgia Bulldogs won so I am happy! More updates to come.

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